The swim coach is responsible for the success of the team and often in charge of fundraising efforts as well. As such, you need to keep your swim team motivated both in and out of the water – for winning meets and fundraising success.
Motivation In The Water
While it may seem difficult to motivate your team to stay on top of their grades, practice schedules, and fundraising tasks, it is possible to successfully do so. Try following these tips to motivate your team while they are in the water for a better performance.
Understand your team members
Uncovering what motivates each swimmer on your team will help you better know how to connect with them. Does she want to be in the Olympics? Is he seeking a college scholarship? Is she involved simply as a means to stay fit? Knowing more about each team member will help you to motivate them.
Talk with each athlete and set goals for the season. Break down each objective into reasonable smaller targets for each practice session. By seeing smaller weekly or bi-weekly goals, your swimmers will be more apt to be ambitious enough to reach their final objective.
Be prepared for failures
Help your swimmers understand that everyone has setbacks. There are good days and bad days, and everyone needs to learn how to deal with failure and not let it overshadow their plans for the future. Use a bad performance as a time to discuss what went wrong and what to work on for improvement at the next meet.
When all is said and done, students should have fun, as with any sport. If it’s not fun, swimmers will quickly lose interest and motivation. So celebrate successes and have fun days for practices on occasion.
Motivation Out of the Water
Now that you have your swimmers motivated in the water, you need to concentrate on encouraging that same drive and success while fundraising. Break away from candy or candle sales and give your swim team the lead it needs to generate funds for activities, uniforms, and more.
Offering swim lessons to the community is a unique way to raise money for the swim team. Swim team members can provide lessons based on skill level or age. Beginners would receive basic instruction while more experienced swimmers can learn advanced techniques.
A Mommy and Me swim class is another fun idea for swim team fundraising. The class members can teach parents how to teach their children to swim. Both parents and children enjoy such activities, and you’ll be offering the community a valuable service, all while raising money for the team.
Remember to keep a lifeguard on the premises during such lessons as swim team members should not be held responsible for the life of another, and they may become too involved in teaching to watch all participants the whole time. Check your state and local requirements for swim instructor certification. No federal mandates exist regarding certification for instructors.
Another fun fundraiser for the swim team is a swim-a-thon. The team members ask for pledges from local businesses, community members, and friends and family. The pledges agree to donate a particular amount of money per pool length or lap that the swimmer completes. Then the team holds the event, offering open admission and even selling concessions. Once the event is over, the laps are tallied and swimmers are then able to collect donations based on the original pledges.
Swim-a-Thon is a registered trademark of USA Swimming and requires that organizations sign a contract prior to participating in an event. The contract will govern how the term ‘Swim-a-Thon’ can be used, how the event is organized, how donations are to be collected, and other details. Even if you call it by another name, it is still considered a swim-a-thon. Any fundraiser involving swimming laps for donations is covered by the USA Swimming “Swim-a-Thon” trademark.
Another profitable fundraiser for the swim team is hosting a pool party for the community. In addition to admission to the event, you can sell the right for companies to set up booths to sell products, such as sunscreen, pool floats, towels, food, and beverages. These companies can sponsor the team in exchange for the right to sell products.
In addition to local retail businesses and food establishments, you can raise the admission price to offset the cost of additional entertainment, such as a DJ, entertainer, or a swim-related movie. You can offer advanced purchase of tickets for a discounted cost than the price at the door.
Fundraisers are a great way for any team to raise money. Whether swim teams hold these fundraisers or something different like penny drives, dinners, or raffles, they are sure to see support from the community to help them raise money.
Motivating your team – whether in or out of the water – can lead to success. Learn to provide the right motivation to your individual members and your team as a whole.